“Nobody is impressed by a dinosaur anymore”, the leading lady in Jurassic World, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) tells her leading man, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). But to those for whom the original Jurassic Park recalls the awe of a historic and alien world, these dinosaurs will impress. The now-plastic looking machine-operated creatures of the first film are on steroids, as director Colin Trevorrow gets to do what Steven Spielberg (who directed the original) couldn’t – use CGI to make these animals a visual assault on the senses.
22 years after the disastrous events of the first Jurassic Park film, the island of Isla Nublar is now a booming tourist destination with tens of thousands of visitors every year. But as the novelty wears off, the pressure builds to show the crowds something ever-increasingly awesome and more frightening.
Corporate sponsors want dinosaurs that are bigger, meaner, scarier. They want the stuff of nightmares. And that’s exactly what they get: not just a dinosaur but a monster cooked up by splicing the DNA of various -auruses, and throwing in some cool (and in hindsight totally stupid) features like chameleon-like blending capabilities and super intelligence. Meet the Indominus Rex (yes, even the characters in the film snicker at this).
Of course, the creature escapes its enclosure. And when Claire’s two nephews are caught in the crosshairs, she reluctantly asks Owen (with whom she had some kind of previous romantic entanglement) to help. Add in a crazy security operations head who wants to use the new animal as a weapon for war, and you have the recipe for a typical animal disaster film.
The plot is as frivolous as the original but then again, no one goes to watch this kind of film for the acting or screenplay. And it’s just such enormous fun. There is the cutesy playful sexual tension between the two leads, the inevitable kiss while death and destruction continues around them, and a lot of saving each other. And naturally the leading lady is able to run in heels while being chased by a T-Rex.
There is nothing quite like the nostalgia evoked by films that defined your childhood. Jurassic Park was original and inventive in many ways. It taught countless 8-year olds (like this one) about DNA and T-Rexes, and also scared the hell out of many. Although Jurassic World is unsurprisingly predictable, every startle and frightened jump I had was accompanied by a smile.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Bryce Dalla Howard, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio
Released in South Africa on 12 June 2015.